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Edge Banding – Everything You Need To Know

Updated: Apr 27

Edge banding is a process of covering the raw edges of wood or other materials to protect them from damage and to improve their appearance. It is a common practice in woodworking, furniture making, and other manufacturing industries. It’s an important part of the construction. And depending on where we use it in the cabinet, it improves the longevity of your furniture.

There are two main types of edge banding: heat-activated and self-adhesive. Heat-activated edge banding is made of a thin strip of material, such as plastic or wood veneer, that is coated with a heat-activated adhesive. The edge banding is heated with an iron or heat gun, and then it is pressed onto the edge of the material. The adhesive melts and bonds the edge banding to the material. Self-adhesive edge banding is also made of a thin strip of material, but it has a self-adhesive backing. The edge banding is simply peeled off the backing and then pressed onto the edge of the material.

Edge Banding

What is edge banding?

Plywood, particle board, and other manufactured wood cores like MDF have rough, unfinished, unprotected, and generally unsightly edges.

To account for that, some clever folks developed technologies that allow you to glue different bands of glossy finished material to those rough edges to match the tops and sides.

Those narrow bands or strips are called edging tape, and they range in thickness from 0.018-inch to 5mm thick and come in 250 ft rolls.

The thicker edging is used in high traffic and commercial environments because it provides greater resilience and impact resistance. For example, the military requires a thicker ⅜” solid wood edge banding for maximum impact resistance.

What’s the purpose of edge banding?

Edge banding serves both functional and aesthetic purposes.

Functionally, edge bands perform some key duties for your furniture. First, they keeps moisture out serving as de facto seals on the edge of the core material. Second, edge banding improves durability and resilience by providing impact resistance. If you’re using solid wood edging, it can also add to the overall strength of the furniture.

Aesthetically, edge banding covers up unsightly rough edges and creates a glossy finish to match your tops and sides. You can also create radial edges to soften sharp angles.

Where do we apply edge banding?

A solid wood product won’t include any edge banding, except where we can’t use solid wood. Wardrobe doors, for example, are made of veneer core plywood or MDF.

And even when we use solid wood for case sides and drawer fronts, many customers still use high pressure laminate tops. Those tops need edge banding.

If you’re using plywood or laminate as your material specification, that needs edge banding too.

The Burrow Interior uses edge banding in places you might not expect, like plywood bed decks. Why? Because a fully sealed deck prevents bed bugs. You can read more about Bed design here.

What is edge banding made from?

# PVC is the most popular material for edge banding on case good tops. Pros: It’s inexpensive, durable, and boasts a long life. It doesn’t require any finishing process. It’s also easy, albeit tedious, to repair. Cons: You can’t recycle it. It doesn’t biodegrade. Once it’s blemished, you can’t refinish it. When it comes to PVC, we recommend 3mm edging in general because it goes on cleaner, quicker, and with better adhesion. Another advantage is that you get a graceful radius and a nice soft-looking finish. In general, we avoid .5mm edging because the corners tend to be too sharp.

# Solid Wood is still a favorite for case good tops in many woodworking camps. It’s durable, recyclable, easy to fix and refinish, strong, stiff, and economical.

Benefits: it’s more resistant to chipping than veneer edge tape. Solid wood glues are more reliable and less prone to peeling than veneer and PVC. It provides additional dimensional support to plywood and mdf. Climate neutral manufacturing. Cons: Difficult to use for curves.

TBi offer solid wood edge banding for tops in a range of thicknesses. And you can apply it internally or externally.

# Wood Veneer is the most common edge banding material for plywood cabinet sides, drawer fronts, and MDF wardrobe doors. It’s made from thin slices of wood—typically oak, maple, ash, walnut, birch, and mahogany—that are joined together in a roll using finger jointing.

It usually features a heat-sensitive glue backing. And it comes in a range of thicknesses, so it’s important to use the right one depending on the application.

Pros: It’s attractive, durable, and strong. It provides a clean solid-wood look, and it’s pre-sanded to absorb stains and finishes and seamlessly match your wood. Cons: It’s not heat resistant. Avoid putting it near a heater. It doesn’t do well in high-use environments.


Generally speaking, TBi recommend PVC edge banding for projects where budget is the first and driving priority. That is not to say there is anything wrong with this material. There are just fewer steps in the manufacturing process and the raw material is less expensive.

Solid wood edge banding is more expensive because it’s labor intensive and the material is higher quality. And with more steps involved in the manufacturing process, we consider this a premium solution. As we alluded to above, internal solid wood edge banding with HPL tops are probably our strongest and most durable solution.

In conclusion, edge banding is a versatile and easy-to-use technique that can be used to protect and enhance the look of furniture and other wooden objects. There are many different types of edge banding available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned woodworker, edge banding is a great way to improve the quality of your work.

If you are looking for a way to protect and enhance the look of your wooden furniture, edge banding is a great option. With a little practice, you can easily apply edge banding to your projects and create beautiful, long-lasting pieces.

Here are some additional tips for using edge banding:

  • Choose the right type of edge banding for your project. There are many different types of edge banding available, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for your needs. For example, if you are working with a high-quality piece of wood, you may want to use a high-quality edge banding that will not damage the wood.

  • Make sure the surface of the wood is clean and smooth before applying the edge banding. This will help to ensure that the edge banding adheres properly.

  • Apply the edge banding with a sharp knife or a heat gun. Be careful not to overheat the edge banding, as this can damage the wood.

  • Once the edge banding is applied, use a sander to smooth out any rough edges.

  • Apply a finish to the edge banding to protect it from damage.

With a little practice, you can easily learn how to apply edge banding to your projects. Edge banding is a great way to protect and enhance the look of your wooden furniture, so why not give it a try or ASK US

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